Dunwoody’s assistant city attorney has been put on paid administrative leave following allegations he made derogatory comments on Facebook about women and Muslims, according to a city statement.
Lenny Felgin was placed on leave by his law firm pending “internal investigations,” and the Dunwoody Police Department is conducting an identity fraud investigation related to the case. Felgin works for Marietta-based law firm Riley McLendon, the firm that has a city contract to provide legal counsel. The firm and the city are both investigating, according to the statement.
“Additional information on the matter will be made public following these investigations,” the statement reads.
Felgin declined comment when reached by phone. Cecil McLendon, the city’s attorney and partner at Riley McLendon, could not be immediately reached for comment.
The social media posts allegedly made by Felgin began circulating on Facebook Jan. 30. The posts were allegedly made Jan. 28 on the “PBS NewsHour” Facebook page under a story about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying his country will accept refugees. Trudeau’s response followed President Donald Trump’s executive order imposing is a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program.
Reporter Newspapers could not find the alleged posts in a search of the “PBS Newshour” Facebook page.
On the night of Jan. 30, the city said in a statement it had contacted “senior representatives of the contracted service provider who stated the allegation is unfounded and the employee was not responsible for the post’s content.” But the next day, it announced Felgin’s leave and further investigation.
One person sharing the alleged derogatory posts by Felgin on social media is Dunwoody resident Furhawn Shah. Shah is a Muslim, a law student at Georgia State University and a caseworker for U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson.
“What a heartbreaking moment for my fellow Dunwoody Muslims and community,” Shah wrote on Facebook while sharing the posts allegedly made by Felgin. “This is the type of divisiveness we need to avoid. We are all one people, united under one flag, for the common purpose of freedom and justice for all. Take a stand.”
Shah said in an interview he saw the posts allegedly made by Felgin after they were shared in a screenshot by several other people, but he did not name who they were. Shah said he had not seen the original posts.
Shah said he received a Facebook message from Felgin on Jan. 30 in which Felgin said his Facebook account had been hacked. Shah said he was not convinced that was true, but said he is pleased the city is taking the issue seriously.
“If this is false and he was hacked, I will own up to it,” Shah said in the interview.
Numerous Dunwoody residents are discussing the allegations on Facebook, calling for a thorough investigation from the city. Former Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis has come to Felgin’s defense, labeling the allegations in a post as “Fake news!”